Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Walking Worthy of Our Calling

2000-05-01 Eph 4:1-5:22


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1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

I. We are to Walk in Unity as We Follow Christ to Glory

2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5  one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6  one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Deny self and Follow Luke 9:23 23  Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24  "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25  "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26  "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.

Disciple = someone moving from Curious to Convinced to Committed to Conformed to Crowned who would follow to the next city.

A. Unity is Good Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

B. Unity is necessary for worthiness Phil 1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

C. Unity is not automatic; it starts in Sanctification and Ends in Evangelism Jn 17:17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18  "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19  "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21  "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22  "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23  "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

D. Unity is disrupted by selfishness Acts 2:1...they were all with one accord in one place. 4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

E. Unity is broken by self-centeredness Phil 2:2  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

F. Unity gets sacrificed for sin 2 Tim 4:10  for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world

G. Unity is destroyed by pride Rm 12:16  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

H. Unity is diminished by carnality, enhanced by communication 1 Cor 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

I. Unity requires humble submission Js 3:16  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

J. Unity is furthered by understanding 1 Pt 3:8 all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;

K. Unity is enhanced by thankfulness  Col 3:15 let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

L. Unity is maintained by mature self-denial Phil 3:16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.18  For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross (self-denial teaching) of Christ:

M. Unity is necessary for glorifying God Rm 15:5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6  that you may with one mind/accord and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II. We Build Unity as We are Equipped to Minister and Build the Body by:

Learning the Truth, Living the Truth and Loving others with the Truth.

7  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 11  He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors-teachers, 12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

13  till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect/mature man, to a measure of the standard of the full control of Christ;

14  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15  but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head----Christ---- 16  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

A. Ministry is the business/work of accurately discerning and serving another’s real needs with the Truth, resulting in their sustained freedom from sin and  commitment to the work of building up the Body, so God will be glorified (Eph 2:21)

B. Equipping is mending, restoring and furnishing which requires a teachable humility and commitment to change.

C. Every part has a unique contribution to make to the growth of the Body, but can only make it when submitted totally to Christ.

III.  We Maintain Unity as we Walk in the Light of a Renewed Mind and New Habits, for the benefit of others

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18  having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19  who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20  But you have not so learned Christ, 21  if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24  and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25  Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26  "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

A. Unrenewed believers can be just as much in the dark as ignorant, blind, and hardened unbelievers. (Independence is the essence of sin).

B. We lie when we are deceptive or hypocritical or fail to honestly portray the reality of our motives and actions. (hide & hurl)

C. We must speak the Truth that will benefit others according to their need, not our experience, so they grow in grace.

D. We give the Devil a foothold by harboring resentment or bitterness because our real or imagined rights have not been yielded.

E. We work not just for our own needs but also for the benefit of others.

F. We grieve the HS by failing to draw upon His power to maintain/further the unity He is attempting to display through us to the world.

IV. We Please God as We Walk in Wise, HS-powered Love, Submitting to One Another in the Fear of God

5:1  Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5  For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7  Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9  for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, 10  finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose/reprove them. 12  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13  But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14  Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." 15  See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16  redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17  Therefore do not be unwise/foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19  speaking to one another, in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20  giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

A. Wisdom = Choosing the right objectives and the right means of obtaining those objectives [cf the wA. ill of God] {cx folly}

B. Love =  Self-sacrificially doing what’s in another’s best/highest interest (regardless of whether or not you feel like it) {cx lust}

C. Fear of the Lord = An awareness that the God who judges is watching and remembering everything I think, do, feel, and say.

D. Filled with the Spirit = controlled by the HS/Word with Body building-God glorifying results (Cf Col 3:15-16)

Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:

1. Why is self denial necessary to follow Christ? What does one have to deny? What if you stop denying yourself?

2. Why is unity essential to glorifying God? What are threats to unity at BAC? What can be done do prevent/correct disunity?

3. For what has your Christian upbringing equipped you? What do you need to be a reproductive disciple? How will you get it?

4. How do you balance “waiting for an invitation” with telling someone something that is in their best interest and that of the Body?

5. What place does God intend a local Body of Believers to have in the life of a follower of Christ? What competes for that allegiance?

6. How does reproof differ from exhort or rebuke? Should you reprove if someone doesn’t want to hear? What if it blows up?

7. Why does God ordain authority? Does He command submission in the “grey areas”? Under what circumstances should one not submit?

8. What or how do you contribute to the edification/growth of the Body? What part do or could you play?